Stereo DAC delivers ultra-low-power consumption

wolfsonwm8912Edinburgh, U.K. — Wolfson Microelectronics has introduced the WM8912, an ultra-low-power stereo DAC that is designed to significantly extend playback time, reduce system cost and dramatically enhance audio performance in portable applications, including media players, headsets, multimedia phones and navigation devices.

The WM8912 features Wolfson’s SmartDAC technology, a unique low-power DAC capacitor switching architecture, which enables DAC to headphone power consumption of less than 4 mW. The DAC also incorporates Wolfson’s Class W amplifier technology, an evolution of class G, which includes an adaptive dual-drive charge pump and DC servo circuit architecture.

The Class W ground referenced amplifier technology uses an adaptive dual-drive charge pump to optimize power dissipation and eliminate the need for large DC blocking capacitors on both headphone and line outputs, resulting in significant savings in printed-circuit-board (PCB) space and the audio subsystem bill of materials (BOM), says Wolfson.

The WM8912 also features a control write sequencer to ensure ease of system design by enabling and disabling the DAC with a single register write. Flexible clocking options are provided by a low power Frequency Locked Loop (FLL). A programmable dynamic range controller compresses the output signal, ensuring maximum volume is achieved when desired, says Wolfson.

Used in conjunction with ReTune Mobile parametric equalizer, the WM8912 offers features to optimize the performance of an output transducer, such as a headphone or speaker. The total package allows consumer electronics designers to develop highly differentiated end products at a reduced cost, says Wolfson.

“The WM8912 brings together the key features required by system designers in one complete solution — low component count, ultra-low-power consumption, increased battery life and world-class audio — all in a cost competitive package,” said Duncan Macadie, Wolfson’s low power audio product line manager, in a statement.

WM8912 customer evaluation boards with the Wolfson Interactive Setup and Configuration Environment (WISCE) are available to aid device evaluation and development. WISCE connects to the evaluation board over USB and offers a unique interactive register map interface.

Availability: The WM8912 is available for sampling now in a 32-pin 4×4 mm QFN package.
Pricing: $1.52 in quantities of 1,000.